How to Make Your Video Go Viral

One of the most common questions I get from my small business audiences is how to make their video go viral.

2011.3.23. YouTube Logo

This always makes me laugh because it reminds of another question that many people give a great deal of consideration to:  How can I quickly become a millionaire?

The easiest way is to find someone that will give you a million dollars.

The more common method is to work hard at creating something that people value highly, such that they are willing to gladly pay for it.

What happens after that is just marketing.

Making your video go viral works the same way.

The Easiest Way to Go Viral

Everyone smiles at the idea of finding someone to give them a million dollars, which is exactly why I laugh at how to make a video go viral. It is possible, and there is indeed an easy way to do it.

The easiest way to have your video go viral is to video someone doing something incredibly stupid and post it on YouTube. This is the one quality that most viral videos share. For most of us this is not a viable strategy for our businesses.

The other approach is to start with a content marketing strategy that effectively builds your social media community. It takes time to build your online audience.  Yet, if you have a successful business, this can be accomplished with consistent effort.

An Overnight Sensation

There is an expression that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago –  with the second best time being today. Your audience is that tree. So, unless you happen to be a celebrity, you have some growing to do, and now is the best time to get going with it.

The desire for having your video go viral is analogous to short-term get rich thinking. While getting rich quickly is possible, it is not a reliable path. In fact, fantasizing about it only distracts you from the real work that will help you to make it reality.

When I speak to small business audiences on social media and Internet marketing they are often pleased with my depth of understanding on these subjects.  That didn’t happen overnight. You could say it has taken me over 5 years of study, inquiry, and frustration to become an overnight sensation.

How This is Really Done

That’s really how you make your video go viral – and how you accomplish any of your other business objectives with social media.  You take your passion for what you are doing and pour that into understanding and caring for your market – your customers.

Then you create content that makes their lives easier or better in some way.  Then use the social networks to share that content with the audience you have today and let it grow.

The day will then arrive when making your videos go viral is as simple as posting them on your blog, or whatever network you use to attract a larger audience by sharing your content. Your community will take care of the rest for you. Why?

Because for years you have taken care of them.

They may not make you a millionaire, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference for your community.

Leave a comment below or share this with your community with any of the share buttons below – or with those on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until next time,  Jeff

Photo Credit:  rego

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  1. “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago”

    I love this quote. Thanks for a great post Jeff. Its amazing to me how many people try to build a business or product without identifying if it will make the consumers life easier/better.

  2. It is amazing. I’m working with a client now that is having trouble seeing how this differs from traditional marketing.

    I appreciate you taking a moment to share your perspective. 🙂


  3. I’m curious if you can also put together a really awesome video that has enough appeal to general interest, then post it in different places & see if that starts the chain effect quicker if it’s something people enjoy watching? The hidden motivation is I’d like this to get seen by the girl I made it for, (who I’m really into) without me telling her. Hmmmmm

  4. I watched a lot viral videos in .They are more hilarious. Such as sperm bank, ANGRY BIRDS theme, Jeff Dunham Achmed. You can take a look that will enlighten your gloomy day.

  5. Great Tips. Thanks for sharing. I’m gonna follow these steps for the promotion of my YouTube channel.

  6. It’s really hard to make something go viral! We’ve been tasked to make a viral video and decided to build a website and upload a few options to make it more interactive, but driving traffic is hard work. Any tips? (Our URL is

  7. i have been putting videos on youtube for years and have not gone viral 🙁 i did get 17,000 views on a video about galileo though. Maybe it’s the subject matter.. system brain madder is another video i made; paranoid rap, basically. It got around 5,000 views.

    I took clips from blues clues and spliced them inbetween.

    Is it possible for an old video to do new tricks? i mean.. suddenly go viral?

  8. I was looking this up because its something of a mystery. My band has a music video that is funnier than heck, and want to share it. If some dorky kid limpsyncing can get a million hits…or another very bad musician pretending to play gets the same…there has to be a secret. There has to be a post, or cross post to build momemtum on something worth viewing.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Dingo – If you haven’t heard of the Evolution of Dance video: it may give your some ideas.

      This guy has built a lucrative career off of that one video.

      If you’re video is that funny maybe the title needs to be changed – sometimes little things will make a big difference in getting noticed.

      • Dunkelheit says:

        Yeah, it all sounds very good and your tips make sense but I guess the main question is: how does one start? The trick is that this guy from Evolution of Dance, or that guy who filmed his child doing silly things – they weren’t celebrities. In celebrity terms, they were Mr Nobody. Then they posted this “funny” (not really funny, to be perfectly honest) video and it became popular. How?

        I completely agree with Dingo that there should be a mechanism. Otherwise, only popular people could get popular on Youtube but that’s clearly not the case.

        So, I’ll be cheeky and re-iterate Dingo’s question in a hope that someone will actually want to answer it 🙂 how do you gain the initial momentum? Ok – I’ve got the funniest clip in my phone… it is hillarious!!! Now I stick it on Youtube. Two weeks down the line, it will have had 11 views… FLOP! How come? This video is funnier than a kid picking his nose. Why does he have 1,000,000 views and this flick has only got 11?

  9. Great, but still not working after making lots of videos to go Viral

  10. what if you publish your video to other social medias by linking it from youtube. will that make it go viral most likely?

  11. Now,It’s the time of video marketing or vblogging.The more people watch your videos the more leads,But how to make your video go viral,if it does you will get more customers and you can generate great revenue with it.

  12. Youʼre probably wondering what a coordinated attack is. Itʼs when you post your video on as many social networking sites as possible and get large numbers of people to link back to your video and share it all on the same day.

    • Dunkelheit says:

      It is a good idea. I like it but you will struggle with “get large numbers of people to link back to your video”. It’s the core of each viral campaign – how do you get people to link back and share. They are lazy and they don’t automatically share unless there’s an incentive to do so.

  13. How about inventing a new sport?

    Will videos that go vial begin with hundreds of hit s and then mushroom later?

  14. Great ideas thank you!!! Please check out my YouTube channel I have really good shots from above in my vintage j3 cub!!!!
    Subscribe rate comment let me know how I can make it better. Thank you in advance!!!!

  15. This is wise advice, I’ve had some videos out on the net for years and they have 20,000+ views, but for them to get there it’s taken years of linking to them, sharing them and getting them seen…

    It’s right what you say about planting a tree 20 years ago and the only way to make tree grow faster is if science finds one LOL… Other than that it’s back to doing the proven steps that work over time.

    Great post!

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Adam – You never know what is going to go viral, but if you stay the course you get lucky once in a while – or are you just getting better at understanding your audience?

      Interesting how this works!

  16. Hey Jeff, I love the audience / tree comparison!

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Mara – Me too! In my former career I was a landscape architect and arborist, so that one REALLY resonates with me.

      Thanks for joining the conversation. 🙂

  17. Silas marsh says:
  18. Nice! Im trying to do this!

    My user for youtube is… animalcraZy 12345

    Check out my dog training videos!

  19. Great advise, new Fragile X “Going Back Home” vid on y o u t u b e

  20. Hello, constantly i used to check blog posts here early in the dawn, as
    i like to learn more and more.


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